IAF’s Shalija Dhami becomes India’s 1st female flight commander

Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Wing Commander Shalija Dhami scripted history by becoming country’s 1st female officer to be appointed as flight commander of a flying unit.  She took over as flight commander of a Chetak helicopter unit at Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

A Flight Commander post is 2nd in command of flight commander unit which means that Dhami is 2nd in unit after commanding officer. Therefore, her elevation in flying branch is moving a step closer towards women officers commanding units and formations in service.

About Shalija Dhami

She was raised in Ludhiana, Punjab.

She is the 1st woman officer of IAF to be given a permanent commission for a long tenure. She is a permanent commissioning officer of Flying Branch in Indian Air Force (IAF) and flies helicopters.

She is also the 1st women qualified flying instructors of Indian Air Force for helicopters. In her career of 15 years, Wing Commander S Dhami has flown Chetak and Cheetah helicopters.

Her promotion to Flying Branch is a step towards Commanding Unit of Women Officers.

On 26 August 2019 women in Indian Armed Forces set another milestone with appointment of Wing Commander Shalija Dhami who became 1st female flight commander of operations unit of Indian Air Force.




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